Are the Matrix sequels good?
Debate Rounds (4)
I don't like the one Matrix sequel I've seen, Matrix Reloaded. I saw the first Matrix as well as Reloaded. In the first Matrix, there was a very good amount of atmosphere from the get-go. In the beginning, dreams are a very big theme, and it works wonders. Then, Neo wakes up, and discovers the truth. The scene is wonderfully shot, and gives us a sense of shock, seeing all the pods connected to a generator. Then the movie builds and builds on the good things, like the sense of wonder as we discover new things. It also builds up Neo from an average hacker by simultaneously building up the threat of the agents, and showing it by how easily Morpheus is captured by Smith. When we finally see Neo stop those bullets, defeat Smith without trying, then see the other two agents actually chicken out, we're left amazed and stunned not only by this amazing victory, but also the struggles Neo faced to get there.
I feel Reloaded lacked all that. Neo was kind of just...there, as his character arc is complete after the first movie's end. When Neo fights someone, it lacks the tension of the fight scenes of the first. When Neo fights Smith, we feel that Neo is actually threatened with death, and as such, seeing him get out of it is exciting. However, when he fights...well, anyone, in Reloaded, that feeling is absent. The only time Reloaded even approaches this tension is when Neo fights the Smiths, but even that's broken once we see the crappy CGI that kills the immersion. In short, whenever Neo is in a fight, that tension is all but gone. The only fight scene without him is the freeway chase, which is actually the one scene I liked in Reloaded. In short, Neo's invincibility kills the tension in his fights.
My opponent makes a few central points which I feel can be shortly dismissed.
1. In Matrix Reloaded, we did not feel the build up of Neo and the challenges that he had to overcome as we did in the original.
2. Neo's invincibility kills the tension.
3. The character's story arc is completed at the end of the first Matrix.
1. I think my opponent may have not critically paid attention to the movie. From the very beginning, Neo has to struggle with his relationship with trinity after dreaming that she would die. It conflicts him.
In the original Matrix, the focus was on Neo's own development as a person, with him becoming "The One".
If a character has already become what he needs to become, then what is left is his relationship with other people. This is what Matrix Revolutons is based on.
This is why at the very end of the movie, our main character has to make a choice between fulfilling his obligation as "The One" or saving the love of his life.
Clearly, Neo does face many challenges in this movie.
2. Well, of course he is. He is "The One" after all. If anything, I'm glad that he can dispatch Smiths. It leaves less time for Neo to be on the ground and more time for awesome kung-fu action.
3. The character becomes what he is destined to become. This does not mean his arc is completed. When Superman gets rebooted, at the end of the movie he's always found his true purpose and identity. This does not mean that his arc is completed, for he still has villains and romance to deal with...sort of like Neo.
Once again, I do not think my opponent has given any good reasons to accept that the sequels were not good.
Reloaded and Revolutions were meant to be one movie. However, it was too big to be one script. So they had to bloat it some to make it work. This really shows in Reloaded, at least to me. For example, most of the stuff in Zion in Reloaded was not absolutely necessary. For instance, the rave scene in Zion does show human impulses, something important in the Matrix films, but it stretched on longer than it really had to. Or Neo's fight against Seraph, the Oracle's guardian. It didn't really need to be there to move the plot. Yet another example is the Merovingian's long speech about causality. It was interesting, and did contain a nice little theme we would see come to fruition in the Architect scene, but once again, was boring because of how long it stretched on. The important parts were the Oracle talking about rogue programs, and Neo meeting the Architect. Only those really drove the plot forward. But even in the Architect scene, the Architect is near impossible to understand. I have a pretty advanced vocabulary for my age, but still had to look it up online after the fact. The fact that the most crucial scene is hidden under such cryptic dialogue is where the film truly failed the audience. The movie is almost all just a spectacle to fill up the time until the big revelation that actually matters in the grand scheme of things, only to have that revelation hidden under ridiculously confusing dialogue.
Also, on the subject of Neo's character arc not being finished, I didn't really feel that sense of urgency. I never once feared for Trinity's life in the movie. I never really felt it, and I suspect that it's because it's buried under all the filler. Not once did I fear Neo would fail to save Trinity, the movie never delved into that. It could've made such an interesting plot line, but it's never really gone into in depth. There isn't really much emotional weight on Trinity's death because they don't really build it up like they did so brilliantly with the threat of the Agents. This is because of all the focus on the less important characters and plot lines that didn't need quite as much focus. Because of this, Reloaded ends up being pretty boring, between the filler and lack of tension.
Also note that Con did not counter any of my refutations.
As before, I shall answer each argument numerically.
1. In Matrix Reloaded, many scenes had no point to them.
2. Many scenes were stretched out and also not necessary.
3. The dialogue is confusing.
My opponent also makes some sort of response, which I will also address.
I shall now respond to my opponent
1. My opponent has not given any specific scenes for this view.
2. My opponent does give examples here.
Con says that the Zion rave scene stretched out longer than needed. My answer for Con is that what is necessary depends on how you look at it. The rave scene could have been 10 seconds and could have still gotten a point across, but the fact that this ties into another scene with Neo and Trinity gives a full understanding of the events that are taking place.
Another point by Con is that Neo's fight with Seraph was unnecessary.
This, is simply of ignorance. The Seraph is the personification of a CHAP, which ties into the computer side of The Matrix. Through fighting with Neo, Neo is authenticated at The One. -http://en.wikipedia.org...
Remember, in the original Matrix The Oracle told Neo that he was not the one.
Next, my opponent makes a claim that Merovingian's speech was long and therefore boring.
The problem, is that his entire speech when it concerns causality is only three minutes long
It's not long at all, and it is filled with philosophical inquiry and an actual object for discussion (the woman)
3. My opponent cannot understand The Architect. This does not mean that the movie is not good, only that the movie is for the thinking man.
In the most basic of terms, Neo is an anomaly. Neo is a bug in the system, and no matter how hard The Architect has tried, he keeps popping up. Therefore, with each version, the Architect has led Neo to himself, in order to eliminate him.
The rest of my opponent's round is his own subjective feelings on the subject.
I understand the Architect scene now, after looking it up, and know how crucial it is. But for the average movie watcher, having such a monologue that is so difficult to understand, yet so crucial to everything, is so detrimental to the film as a whole. It's not just my perspective either. It's likely the most common complaint leveled at Reloaded, barely anyone could grasp the most important point of the entire franchise. My point about scenes such as Seraph's fight with Neo was not that it had absolutely no reason to exist whatsoever, but that it didn't really benefit the story in any meaningful way. He could've
just asked Neo to manipulate the code in some way, that would have been more visually impressive and interesting. The Merovingian's speech is not the longest, but there is also the elevator ride, where Neo mentions the explosives that never really come to fruition in any meaningful way, and the speech is very off-topic and abrupt. Then all that just for the Merovingian to say no to their deal. It's painfully obvious that it was stretched out due to the split of the sequels.
Most of the stuff in Zion doesn't get us anywhere plot-wise. It's not the worst, but it doesn't really advance a hell of a lot. It serves to introduce so many characters that it's hard to focus on the main cast. We also find out that Tank died between films for some unexplained reason, to give us Link, another new character. The Kid doesn't add much until Revolutions, Commander Lock and Captain Mifune would've been far more interesting if they had been one character, Zee didn't add much until Revolutions, Bane-Smith (the most menacing Hugo Weaving impression known to man) was somewhat interesting, but it's never explained how he could get into the real world. That's something the movie could have explained, but we were left to our own devices to figure it out. Yes, it could be that Smith transferred himself over via Bane's mind, but the lack of explanation just feels like lazy writing. I don't watch movies to then try to figure them out. I watch movies to be entertained. Niobe nor Ghost have a very important role in Reloaded, despite being so set up in Enter the Matrix. The only reason Niobe really was focused on over the course of Reloaded was because of the love triangle that was being set up.
It was this conflicting direction between focus on Neo and the main cast or focus on these side characters that were introduced that strands the film in a No Man's Land in between where the side characters get a bit more focus than they should, but not enough for the main cast to really shine as an average movie watcher such as myself would enjoy. There are good moments such as the freeway chase that are truly tense, visually impressive, and let the characters shine in their own little moments that feel just right, but it's mostly absent throughout the rest of the film. This absence of tension due to the No Man's Land also takes away from what little development Neo has.
Not only does this cluster of characters make it harder to focus on Neo, Keanu Reeves is going full force with the wooden line delivery, not helping anything. Keanu did well as Neo in the first because Neo was the confused fish out of water. It worked for what Neo was in the first movie. But as an all powerful man, the wooden delivery really falls flat. Add this to the fact that watching Neo defeat enemies without breaking a sweat doesn't instill the sense of tension that made the first Matrix's fights so amazing. In the first, Mae get the sense that Neo and his friends are all potentially dead if they screw up even once, with the threat of the agents. It made their stunts and survival all that much more impressive, due to this constant feeling of fear for the protagonists. However, Reloaded's fight scenes mainly focus on Neo. Due to Neo's invincibility, this pressure that made the first film so mind blowing is simply absent. It ultimately makes Neo's development not feel poignant enough to matter to the average viewer. Sorry for not answering your points before this long-winded paragraph, I was saving the best for last.
It ultimately makes the film much less enjoyable than the first. I don't think Reloaded is a terrible film, it's an alright film with some good ideas behind it. But these good ideas ended up taking a backseat to the less important things because of the need to split the sequels. I'd rate it 5/10 stars in all honesty. (A film that is just run of the mill, on my scale.) Thank you for your time in this debate. I looked at your profile, and we're both 15. I'm glad I found someone my age who could have a debate with me, most people in my grade resort to personal insults when their opinion is challenged. There are exceptions, but most of the intellectual people my age agree with my views. Thank you again for this debate, and once you post your next argument, it will be the decision of the voters.
AlphaTBITW forfeited this round.
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